Amazon.com buys Stanza e-book app maker Lexcycle

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- Kindle e-book retailer Amazon.com Inc. has purchased Lexcycle, a year-old company that makes the iPhone e-book application Stanza, in a move that ratchets up Amazon's presence in the electronic book market.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Stanza allows users to read e-books in the "epub" format, which is an open standard supported by the International Digital Publishing Forum that many publishers use to create e-book files. Amazon.com's Kindle does not support the format, but Sony Corp.'s competing Reader device - which sells for $300 or $400 depending on the model - does.

Users of Apple Inc.'s and iPod Touch devices can use Stanza to download more than 100,000 books and periodicals to their phones, and Stanza desktop lets users read on their personal computers. Lexcycle said that more than one million users downloaded Stanza between mid-July and Dec. 31.

Seattle-based Amazon started selling the Kindle electronic in late 2007 and in February of this year launched the latest version of its $359 e-book device, Kindle 2. The company's online Kindle Store now includes more than 270,000 books and other reading material. It also recently rolled out free Kindle functions to iPhone and iPod Touch users to read the same electronic books that owners can buy on Amazon.com.

However, unlike Stanza, Amazon's iPhone app lacks an e-book purchasing feature. Users must access the Web browser on their iPhone, iPod or computer to buy the books.

Lexcycle was founded in early 2008 and has offices in both Austin, Texas and Portland, Ore.

"It has been an amazing experience to see Stanza grow out of our brainstormed ideas into one of the most downloaded iPhone applications," said Lexcycle founder Marc Prud'hommeaux in a statement on his company blog. "We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition."

Calls to Amazon.com seeking comment weren't immediately returned late Monday.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Amazon, Simon & Schuster sign book retail deal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony e-book reader gets 500,000 books from Google

Mar 19, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is making half a million books, unprotected by copyright, available for free on Sony Corp.'s electronic book-reading device, the companies were set to announce Thursday.

Group protests Kindle e-reader's read-aloud limits

Apr 07, 2009

(AP) -- A group representing the blind and other people with disabilities protested limitations to the new read-aloud feature on Amazon.com Inc.'s latest Kindle electronic reader Tuesday, arguing that the ...

Kindle 2 will no doubt find lots of new fans

Apr 01, 2009

The Kindle 2, the second version of Amazon's breakthrough electronic book reader, is cheaper ($359), thinner (0.36 inches), can hold more books (more than 1,500 compared with 200), and has a longer battery ...

Recommended for you

Amazon, Simon & Schuster sign book retail deal

3 hours ago

Amazon has reached a deal with American book publisher Simon & Schuster, the companies said, though the e-commerce giant remains at loggerheads with France's Hachette over e-book pricing.

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

14 hours ago

Facebook is suing several law firms that represented a man who claimed he owned half of the social network and was entitled to billions of dollars from the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

IBM 3Q disappoints as it sheds 'empty calories'

15 hours ago

IBM disappointed investors Monday, reporting weak revenue growth again and a big charge to shed its costly chipmaking division as the tech giant tries to steer its business toward cloud computing and social-mobile ...

User comments : 0